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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Both films reflect the director's, Frank Darabont, conceptualization of prison life.  This would be the first level of comparison between both.  Both films take place within the conditions of captivity, of the penal system in America, but it is more universal in terms of the impact prison has on individuals.  Along those lines and perhaps possessing more primacy is that both films are interpretations of Stephen King works.  Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile are both originally written by Stephen King.  In terms of their content, I think that a similarity is that both works humanize prisoners.  Andy Dufresne and Red have their characters and personalities developed, challenging the stereotypical portrayal of prisoners.  This can be seen in The Green Mile, with prisoners Delacroix and, of course, John Coffee. I would say that a specific point of departure between both films would be in their depiction of the prison guards and administration, shown to be much more benevolent forces in The Green Mile as opposed to The Shawshank Redemption. Additionally, I think that there is a more sense of the collective and greater social solidarity advocated in The Shawshank Redemption, as opposed to The Green Mile, which displays consciousness in a far more individualized and isolated light.  Finally, there is a difference in the level of gravity in terms of the aspects of prison life each film shows.  The Green Mile takes on the issue of capital punishment and the concept of living on death row, living for death.  The Shawshank Redemption does not approach this level of gravity with its depiction of prison life.

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